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President Obama hit an all-time approval rating low this week, even as the Republican approval numbers continue to decline. The new poll, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, leaves few politicians looking good in the wake of the shutdown, a series of reports on the NSA's spying programs, and the bumpy Obamacare exchanges roll-out. Obama's approval rating is now 42 percent, with 51 percent disapproving of his job as president. But Americans aren't very happy with Congress, either: just 29 percent of Americans think their member of Congress has earned re-election. That's the lowest in the Journal's polling since 1992.

Here are some other lowlights from the poll: 

  • John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid all hit their all-time lows for job approval ratings. 
  •  Little has changed in the way of GOP popularity: 22 percent of Americans see the Republican Party favorably — a number that continues to drop after the partial government shutdown, during which the party hit its lowest approval ratings ever. Democrats, meanwhile have an approval rating of 37 percent. More Americans still blame the Republicans for the shutdown than they do any other person or group. 
  • Just 30 percent of Americans have confidence in our system of government, a 40-year low. On that note, 30 percent of Americans would prefer to elect an independent or third-party candidate into Congress. That's higher than the percentage of Americans who'd prefer a Republican. And 63 percent of Americans would vote to replace their own member of Congress. 
  • 74 percent of Americans think Congress is contributing to, instead of helping, the problems facing the country right now. 
  • A majority of Americans responding to the survey declined to affiliate themselves with either major political party. 

The approval ratings for the Affordable Care Act have, unsurprisingly, dropped slightly from a previous poll taken earlier this month. 37 percent of Americans think the law is a good idea. 47 percent now disagree. For what it's worth, Americans were pretty evenly split on whether they believe the rollout problems are a long-term disaster, a short-term inconvenience, or whether it's too early to tell. 37 percent believe the glitches are a short-term problem, 31 percent believe the issues will not be corrected, while 30 percent will wait and see what happens. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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